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State must reduce overreliance on American FDI – Quinlivan

15 May, 2019 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan today said that the state must reduce the overreliance on American Foreign Direct Investment here, as the current concentration poses a threat to our economy, and he called on the Minster for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys to diversify where we are sourcing our FDI from.

Speaking this morning, the Sinn Féin spokesperson for Business and Innovation said;

“Information provided to me in response to a parliamentary question highlights a significant reliance on FDI companies originating from the United State of America.

“Of the 1,444 IDA supported companies here, 766 are American, accounting for over 53% of all IDA supported companies.

“This high concentration from the United States is in stark contrast to the representation from other parts of the globe, with just 7 companies originating from the entire continent of Africa, and only 2 companies, out of 1,444, coming from South America.

“Ireland has of course very strong ties with the United States, and US investment here, is and has been incredibly important, but having such a high concentration of companies originating from one country is a cause for concern.

“Furthermore, over 72% of all IDA companies come from just four states; the US, Britain, Germany, and France.

“This level of concentration leaves our economy exposed to political or economic changes in the countries of origin of these companies. For example, should a dramatic shift in tax arrangements occur in any one particular country, this could have a dramatic impact on MNCs operating here.

“According to the 2018 Revenue Commissioner’s Annual Report, foreign owned multinationals paid 77% of Irish corporation tax take in 2018.

“This should be a source of major concern, as these companies are traditionally more mobile than indigenous businesses and can move or scale back their operations here suddenly, depending on where the best incentives are internationally.

“This could have a dramatically negative impact on our public finances and public services.

“We need to accelerate the diversification of the countries of origin of FDI companies locating here, particularly in Africa, Asia, and South America, in conjunction with building up our indigenous companies, to insulate against major changes taking place in other countries.

“Although Foreign Direct Investment is important, it is imperative to have a strong indigenous base to provide balance in our economy.” 

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